West Side News & Notes
Akron gets loan approval for Highland Square grocery
HIGHLAND SQUARE — U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) officials announced Aug. 1 that the agency has approved a $3.8 million loan guarantee to the city of Akron to finance a grocery store in Highland Square.
The city announced plans in 2011 that would see local business Mustard Seed Market open a store at the site in an area on West Market Street that has been redeveloped in recent years.
“This area of Akron has been without a full-service food store since 2002,” said Antonio Riley, HUD’s Midwest Regional Administrator. “A grocery store will provide fresh food at reasonable prices to benefit the health and quality of life for area residents while also creating approximately 57 jobs — truly a win-win for Akron.”
Adele Roth, the city’s Economic Development Manager, said she was “very, very excited” by the news.
“It’s been a long process,” she said. “It’s another step in the right direction and we’ve got to keep moving.”
Roth said that the loan approval means there’s the possibility that ground can be broken for the new store before winter.
“There is still quite a bit of paperwork but this was the largest hurdle,” Roth said. “The fact that we have it makes everything else go a little bit easier, knowing that we’ve got the money.”
ASO musician’s body found in park
CUYAHOGA FALLS — After a search of a local park, authorities found the body of a missing West Akron woman Aug. 3.
Susan Ramsdell, 48, was reported missing Aug. 1, according to the Akron Police Department (APD) and found two days later. Investigators said she had left a note at her home that indicated she might have been intending to attempt suicide.
On Aug. 2, Metro Parks, Serving Summit County rangers found Ramsdell’s 2010 Toyota Corolla at the Top o’ the World area of Hampton Hills Metro Park, off Bath Road in Cuyahoga Falls. Capt. Daniel Zampelli of the APD said authorities searched the area until dusk and picked up the search again the next morning. The body was found sometime that morning, he added, a few hundred yards off trail.
Zampelli said the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Aviation Unit assisted in the search.
He added the case is being investigated as a suicide. A report from the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office was forthcoming.
According to Akron Symphony Orchestra (ASO) officials, Ramsdell was a French horn player with the symphony.
Hearing set in Prade case
DOWNTOWN AKRON — An Aug. 21 hearing could reopen the case of former Akron Police officer Douglas Prade, who was convicted of murdering his ex-wife, West Akron resident Dr. Margo Prade, in 1998.
Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh announced Aug. 2 that the hearing is in response to a request from the Ohio Innocence Project, which filed a petition for either post-conviction relief or a new trial for Prade. Bevan Walsh said the Innocence Project claims that new DNA testing results of Dr. Prade’s lab coat, which she wore on a daily basis and was wearing at the time of her murder, exonerates her ex-husband.
At the hearing, set to take place before Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Judy Hunter, the judge will determine one of three potential actions: that Prade is innocent and his case should be dismissed; that there is new evidence to warrant a new trial; or that there is no new evidence and the conviction should stand.
“No one in my office wants to see an innocent person behind bars,” Bevan Walsh said. “We requested extensive DNA testing well beyond what the Innocence Project requested, and we have carefully reviewed all of the available evidence. There is no new evidence that proves Mr. Prade’s claim of innocence. The jury’s verdict should not be overturned.”
She added that in briefs filed with the court, the state pointed out that the new DNA evidence does not identify any new suspect, nor the time when the DNA was deposited on the lab coat. Bevan Walsh said Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation experts said the DNA is most likely a result of incidental transfer.
Low cost rabies vaccination clinic announced
RICHFIELD — Summit County Public Health will sponsor a rabies vaccination clinic for dogs and cats Aug. 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Richfield Village Police Department garage, 4450 W. Streetsboro Road. No appointments are necessary.
The clinic is for dogs and cats only, and all pets must be leashed or caged. Veterinarians from Pet Guards will provide vaccines and other shots. Pets must be at least 3 months old to receive the rabies vaccine.
The cost for rabies vaccination is $6 per animal. Other vaccines and services to be provided at reduced costs include: annual booster shots for cats, three-year shots for adult cats older than 5; kitten shots including wormers; feline leukemia shots for outdoor cats; annual booster shots for dogs; three-year shots for adult dogs more than 5 years old; bordetella shots; puppy shots including wormers; HomeAgain microchip insertion; and heartworm tests. Only payments by cash or check will be accepted.
For details, call the Summit County Public Health Department at 330-926-5600.
Police to conduct child abduction exercise in Bath
BATH — A training exercise hosted by the Bath Police Department will help local agencies evaluate their strategies used in the event of a child abduction.
Police officials said the five-hour exercise will take place Aug. 15 at 9 a.m. at Old Trail School.
As part of the exercise, the Summit County Child Abduction Response Team’s response to the incident will be examined, as well as its interaction with other agencies that respond.
Evaluators will offer comments, which will be compiled in an After Action Report and Improvement Plan with recommendations for future training, equipment and response procedures, Bath Police officials said.
In the exercise, volunteer actors will simulate a community function at the Old Trail playground and athletic fields. The scenario will be that a seventh-grade student disappears during the event, prompting the Bath Police to respond and the Child Abduction Response Team to be activated.
Slated to participate in the exercise are the Bath Police Department, Summit County Emergency Management Agency, Summit County Sheriff’s Office, Akron Police Department, National Park Service, Summit County Child Abduction Response Team, GASP (Guardians Advocating Child Safety and Protection) and Old Trail School.
For more information on the exercise, contact Bath Police Chief Michael McNeely at 330-666-3736.
Meth labs topic of community forum
DOWNTOWN AKRON — A forum organized by Summit County Children Services that aims to educate local residents on methamphetamine labs will take place Aug. 22 at 7 p.m. at the Akron-Summit County Main Library Auditorium, 60 S. High St.
Officials said today’s meth labs are found anywhere: in houses, the trunks of cars and neighborhood parks. The forum will help concerned citizens learn what happens when a meth lab is discovered and what health risks can result from being exposed to one.
Speakers will include Lt. Brian Simcox and Officer Chris Crockett, of the Akron Police Department; Capt. Hylton Baker, of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office; and Dr. Daryl Steiner, of the CARE Center of Akron Children’s Hospital.
The event also will provide attendees with resource material from a variety of community organizations, including Summit County Public Health; the Summit County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board; and Oriana House.
Parking is free in the library parking deck. For more information, call 330-379-1994 or go to www.summitkids.org.
Foodbank celebrates national recognition
DOWNTOWN AKRON — A celebration at the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank July 31 attracted more than 350 people to its Opportunity Parkway site to mark two achievements, officials said.
The event marked the local food bank being named Foodbank of the Year by Feeding America, as well as its 30th anniversary.
Former and present board members, community leaders, representatives of other local agencies, volunteers and donors gathered for the event. A program included remarks from Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization, and Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank President and CEO Dan Flowers.
“The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank continues to create innovative ways to meet its community’s emergency food needs. They are truly a leader in our network,” Escarra said. “Dan Flowers and his remarkable team are well-deserving of this great honor. Their effort to help feed the hungry in the Akron-Canton area and their contribution to our mission is truly inspiring.”
Flowers reflected on the founding of the organization, which was possible when a small group of community leaders and volunteers came together in response to the growing problem of hunger in the area.
“This incredible community has continued to rally around its food bank,” he said. “Since its inception in 1982, the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank has distributed more than 300 million pounds of food and grocery items through our member agencies.”
The food bank was named the 2012 Member of the Year at the annual Feeding America Network Summit in Detroit. The award is the highest recognition achievable by food banks and is given to the year’s most outstanding food bank of the 202 food banks in the Feeding America network.
Foodbank officials said it provides food and other items to more than 460 hunger-relief programs, such as food pantries and hot meal sites in Summit, Medina, Carroll, Holmes, Portage, Stark, Tuscarawas and Wayne counties. In 2011, the food bank distributed 19.4 million pounds of food, providing 14.9 million meals locally for people in need.
Three weeks left on Barberton Municipal Court License Forfeiture Amnesty Program
BARBERTON — The Barberton Municipal Court License Forfeiture Amnesty Program has collected almost $30,000 in unpaid fines and costs, according to Diana Stevenson, clerk of the Barberton Municipal Court.
According to Stevenson, the program allows residents whose licenses have been forfeited for not paying court fines and costs to pay one-half of the amounts owed on all traffic and criminal cases in order for the court to release the license forfeiture. Defendants have to pay the remaining one-half owed to the court in $50 monthly increments until paid in full. If they do not make the timely monthly payments, they are subject to future license forfeitures, said Stevenson.
“I encourage people to take advantage of this opportunity,” said Stevenson. “After Aug. 31, the court will require full payment of fines and costs before the license forfeiture is released.”
Payment options in the program include:
• online payments at www.cityofbarberton.com/clerkof courts;
• in-person payments at the Clerk of Courts office, which is open Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon; and
• by mail to Barberton Municipal Court, 576 W. Park Ave., Barberton, OH 44203.
The Clerk of Courts Office accepts personal checks, money orders (made payable to Barberton Municipal Court), cash and Visa, MasterCard and Discover credit cards. Payments by mail should include the case number on the check or money order, said Stevenson.
According to Stevenson, once payment has been received, the Clerk’s Office will notify the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles the forfeiture has been released, and a copy of the release will be mailed to the defendant.
For questions regarding the License Forfeiture Amnesty Program, call the Clerk of Courts office at 330-861-7191.
CASA seeks support at breakfast
DOWNTOWN AKRON — Summit County’s CASA/GAL program is seeking local supporters to help it achieve its fundraising goals.
The organization, which provides training for guardian ad litem volunteers, is holding its I Am For the Child fundraising breakfast Nov. 1 at 7:30 a.m. at The University of Akron’s Martin University Center. Sponsors are needed for the event, from which all proceeds will be used for recruitment, training and support of its volunteers. The fundraising goal is $50,000.
Organization officials also announced that Sterling Jewelers Inc. has offered to match any gift, up to a total maximum donation of $25,000.
“We are more than appreciative for Sterling’s generous and long-term commitment to Summit County CASA/GAL,” said Beth Cardina, CASA program coordinator. “We’re hopeful for strong community support at this upcoming event.”
For more information on the event or how to be a sponsor, call 330-643-2514.
Kathleen Folkerth, Ariel Hakim and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.
More Community News
- Akron Council addresses missing 19-year-old
- Old memories meet new era at Rotary Camp
- Falls Council OKs sale of State Road property
- Hindu temple welcomes public for opening celebrations
- Norton Council preparing opposition to Internet café bill
- Peninsula residents take Council to task for actions, behavior
- Boston still seeking sewer funding
- Richfield Village welcomes former mayor at meeting
- Granger fiscal officer retiring in July
- County Council OKs pay raises
- Seventh Neighbors Day Akron set for May 25
- Take Back Day a hit
- West Side News & Notes
- Green has new buyer for Belden Lodge
- Old memories meet new era at Rotary Camp
- Manchester Education Foundation formed
- Springfield officials hear passionate pleas about photos
- County Council OKs pay raises
- Coventry trustees move forward with demolitions
- Springfield applying for grants
- South Side News & Notes
Calendar of Events
- Ed Caner - 5/19/2013
- Three Choir Music Festival - 5/19/2013
- The Way We See It! - 5/20/2013
- Copley Historical Society - 5/20/2013
- Food Preservation - 5/20/2013